New York lawmakers are cognizant of the risks bicyclists face when sharing the road with motor vehicles in a busy and bustling city. To address the number of bicycle accidents with injuries and fatalities that have caused so much damage, city legislators have been actively promoting new laws and solutions. Unfortunately, the reason there has been such attention paid to this issue is the rising frequency of bicycle-auto accidents and, within a short period of time, there were three across New York City recently.
According to reports, three bicyclists were hit by automobiles in a short time span in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. The riders in Staten Island and Brooklyn were killed. The Queens rider was hospitalized in critical condition. These accidents happened on the same day that the New York City Council passed legislation letting bicyclists adhere to pedestrian signals at intersections, where pedestrians are accorded a head start prior to traffic being given a green signal. Under the law, cyclists are still required to yield if there is a pedestrian. Mayor Bill de Blasio has been an ardent advocate for road safety and is set to receive the bill.
The first accident in Staten Island involved a 17-year-old male. He crashed into the rear tire of a tow truck at lunchtime. He was killed in the crash. The Brooklyn accident involved a 58-year-old male who hit a box truck. He also died. The final bicycle accident happened at approximately 1 a.m. in Queens. The rider was hit by an SUV. He was said to have suffered head trauma. In all three accidents, the drivers remained at the scene and the investigations are continuing.
In total, there have been 17 bicycle fatalities in New York City this year. In 2018, there were 10. The number of bicycle accidents that have happened is worrisome, as it is occurring despite legislative attempts to regulate traffic and make the roads safer for riders. When there is a bicycle accident, the rider is inherently vulnerable with the possibility for back injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, lost limbs and even death. Injured victims should understand their legal options after bicycle accidents.